On Liches

As the party makes their way toward Whitestone to engage the Briarwoods on their home territory, several critters have expressed concern regarding the preparations Vox Machina has taken. While they have definitely taken precautions versus vampires, Lady Delilah (and the rest of Whitestone) seem to be harder to prepare against.

As we’ve discussed before, the only vampire we have encountered thus far is Lord Sylas. His regenerative capabilities in combat that were stunted by radiant damage and his failing to appear in daylight are traits not shared by his wife. Given her array of spells, some critters have speculated that she may be a very powerful lich. Thesingingbadger has asked that we go over some of the properties of a lich should Vox Machina find themselves facing one, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Generically, liches have a challenge rating of 21; inside their lair, this increases to 22. Considering the party just reached level 12, it’s unlikely that the 7 or 8 of them will have to face a level 16 vampire and a level 21 undead spellcaster, in conjunction with the rest of the turned city. Liches also have truesight, a passive perception of 19, and resistance to cold, lightning, and necrotic damage.

According to the Monster Manual (p203), liches are extremely powerful wizards who spent their years of life studying and preparing to live beyond death, often in some sort of agreement with devils or evil deities (Orcus comes up frequently). Their flesh is gaunt and stretched across the remains of their skeleton, and their eye sockets are hollow save for two glowing lights.

Based on this description alone, unless Delilah has a REALLY good anti-aging cream or a powerful illusion covering her true appearance, we find it extremely unlikely that she is a lich. Percy’s use of the Cap of Disguise also prevented his recognition during the dinner, ruling out truesight as one of her abilities. We believe her to be a very powerful wizard with character classes, somewhere between level 15 and level 20.

Edit: Anonymous pointed out that Vex overheard them discussing that they saw someone male. If this was Vax or Percy, then even if it’s not truesight, it’s a very lucky perception roll. Of course, “he” might not be either of these two; they might have just been discussing talking to a Uriel, or someone else.

However, even though she’s not a lich, many of her spells share commonalities with the lich spell list. It should be emphasized that she is not currently a lich; there’s no reason to believe that she has not studied to become one when her time expires. Keep an eye out for a phylactery.

Thanks to Desmond’s testimony in episode 26, we know that the Briarwoods seek something below the castle. Both she and Sylas have an obsession with the undead, and there is reason to believe many secrets of necromancy could soon be in their grasp. It should be considered a very good thing that the horn of Orcus is guarded under the watch of the Platinum Dragon. However, there are two horns…